Botanical Signature

Botanical Signature

Immaculately turned out, warm, and understated, Sydney’s Asako Takada couldn’t be any truer to her natural skincare line, Botanical Signature, if she tried.

An accidental skincare expert, Botanical Signature was born when an opportunity arose for Asako, then a business and export professional in Japan, to become involved in a project researching natural skincare in Australia.  With her initial interest piqued, studies in study medical aromatherapy and Ayurveda (a 5000-year-old system of natural healing with origins in the Vedic culture of India) ensued, followed by months of late nights experimenting in Asako’s  makeshift, two square metre lab: her kitchen.

“I researched unfamiliar ingredients from scratch, talked to teachers, compounders, and therapists to hear their advice, and joined many workshops and courses,” says Asako. “Through this, I found the beauty of making my own skincare.” 

Made only from pure, plant-derived ingredients, the Botanical Signature range encompasses four serums to soothe and repair the skin, soften hair and nourish hands and nails.   

The ingredients are as medicinal as they are exotic: Moroccan argan oil to hydrate, Japanese hinoki wood to calm, pungent rosemary for elasticity and Italian neroli oil for energy, to name a few. 

“Culture is blended throughout our products, through the combination of Eastern and Western concepts, and sometimes we implement the history of ingredients to our product idea,” explains Asako. “In the Nourishing Face Oil, for example, we use frankincense - one of the gifts given by The Three Wise Men and a powerful astringent, and Hinoki (Japanese Cypress) which contains antibacterial properties wonderful for both grounding and enhancing the meditative experience and still used in religious places today.”

Asako was born in Japan, raised in Rome and has lived all over the world - Australia is the fifth country that she has called home.   In a very Japanese tradition of striving for perfection, every element of her range has been agonized over -  from the intoxicating combination of herbal ingredients to the handmade washi paper cocooning each vial.

Listed in UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2014, this technique of papermaking has been passed down by craftsmen in a small village in Japan for generations. Besides being ethical and environmentally friendly, unwrapping this beautiful paper – the ‘skin of the brand’, as Asako describes it – is an important part of the sensory experience and the brand’s very foundation. 

“I want to seek the best, simple pleasures using small gestures,” says Asako “and finding ways to do this can be a challenge - but an enjoyable one.”

Asako’s ruminations on her range have philosophical implications that may go some way to explaining the sense of calm control that she exudes.

“Beauty forms when you find the perfect balance in one’s senses,” she says. “It is a personal universe or sanctuary where every detail is considered and has a reason... But the perfect balance also avoids overloading. There should be always the aesthetic of subtraction. Less is more.” 

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The Botanical Signature range is available now.